Saturday, December 03, 2005

"Wilding" Teenagers

Katha Sheehan wrote a letter to the editor of Key West the Newspaper this week concerning the problems of violence by children. I re-publish it here for its connection to recent events and because it puts the problem into a larger context.

Cops and Parents Must Control Violent Kids
Thank you for courage in covering the attack on the Whitehead St. businesspeople! (Attacks by Teenagers in Bahama Village Concern City Officials, KWTN, November 18, 2005). Outside of what we read in The Blue Paper, it seems that there is a conspiracy to cover up or ignore this small group of pre-teens and teenagers who are "wilding" in Key West. These are kids who beat up other kids, mug tourists, steal bikes, and preform incredible acts of cruelty with chickens, cats, and other creatures. Yet, according to most authorities, "there is nothing we can do about it. They are minors." Their parents cover for them, and cuss out their accusers!
These roving latchkey kids, of all colors and social strata, between the ages of 11 and 17, ride stolen bikes island-wide and terrorize homeowners. Their victims are intimidated into silence. Most of their victims are hard-working people (some are even relatives of the little thugs!) and the "wilding" kids have ample time to steal and destroy their property while they are away at work, and the police won't stop them.
These half-pint thugs own this town, they are unstoppable! It would be funny, if so many chickens and bikes and people's peace of mind were not being destroyed. The kids are constantly challenging each other to new heights of perversion and cruelty. Wait 'til they are ready for sex, cars, drugs, firearms, and home-invasion robberies!
The situation with these 10-12 children has been worsening over several years. The only possible explanation is that the kids are protected either by family members with badges, or they links to "above-the-law" confidential informants.
Someone has to stand up to the,. I commend you for bringing this situation to light! And I ask that people who see them committing illegal acts not to confront them, but instead take photos or video of their actions (Discreetly!) To end this reign of wilding children, we need evidence that they cannot refute, and that the authorities -- and their parents -- can no longer ignore.
Katha Sheehan
Key West


This is a capture from Katha's surveillance camera at her home. The two boys are seen creeping into her yard while no one was at home. They stole her favorite rooster, the one she has had longer than any other, from his cage in the yard.

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